As many dog owners are forced to stay at home, we are often out walking our dogs, for both their physical and our mental needs.  We see it in many of the parks around us and considering recent social distancing measures, we have chosen to change our route to less frequented paths.  We must remain vigilant at all times, and this does not stop when we are out with our furry friends. We have been hearing many different sanitation methods such as how to handle our food when we bring it back from the grocery store.  We need to consider these same basic hygiene methods with our pets. Although we are far from being experts on the matter, it is said that dogs cannot catch the virus, however could potentially carry it if they come into contact with it. Whether this is true or not, any additional sanitary measures are welcome during these trying times.

The first question we have asked dog owners is “Have you washed your leash?”  Most people tell us no. We can handle that leach several times a day. We touch different surfaces such as doorknobs for example, then proceed to handling the leash. How often does the leash touch the ground when you’re out for a walk?  Most of us do not even pay attention. How often has your dog been excited to see their other puppy friends, getting all close up and personal, dragging their owners with them? The easiest way to wash these items are to place them in the sink with dish soap and warm water, moving them around in the sink for several minutes.  If your leash is not leather, let it soak for at least an hour, rinse and let dry. You will be surprise how clean they look!

There are other basic things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones during this pandemic.  Have a damp towel ready for your dog’s feet so you can clean them once you get home, and then wash your own hands. You can also set up a plastic winter mat with grooves and add some dish soap and water and have your dog walk on it to rinse their paws.  Another thing we may not think about is our dog’s toys. When was the last time you washed them? We are spending 24 hours a day in our home, so we are playing with our dogs and their toys. This may sound crazy but you could put on your bathing suit on and take your dog in the shower with you if you cannot get them to a groomer.  We find that if you are getting wet then it’s okay that they are getting wet to. You will have an easier time with a stressed-out dog who really does not like bathes. Your dog may need to be reassured. If you do this, do not forget to pay attention to the drain, you want to remove any fur that accumulates around it. Use flea and tick shampoo if possible if your pet is not already on flea and tick medication.  Environment Canada is predicting a warmer April which could potentially bring out ticks and fleas.

playing dog

 We are spending more time with our beloved dogs.  The additional measures we take today could help flatten the curve and save lives… We need to be vigilant against the invisible enemy.   We applaud all the front line warriors in the essential services industries, who are putting their lives on the line. It is up to us to help in any we can. Can you think of anything that people may not think to clean? Let us know!

Take care, stay home and be safe out.

Article by: Nancy

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